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Finding Happiness & Contentment by Subtracting from Your Desires

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"Contentment is not by addition but by subtraction: seeking to add a thing will not bring contentment. Instead, subtracting from your desires until you are satisfied only with Christ brings contentment."

— Jeremiah Burroughs

Matthew 6:32-33

32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

God wants us to be happy and joyful. Ironically we can be both in the midst of sorrow and adversity, but only in fellowship with Christ and the Person of the Holy Spirit.

How many of us have lived much of our life intoxicated by it and always defaulting to our desires and and sins in which we often then try to bend God's will to ours!

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

Jeremiah Burroughs

We as Christians will often claim we are submitting to God's will but that is hardly ever the case, admit it! We are terrible at following through in relationship with our Lord. And not unlike the rebellious people of Ancient Israel we turn again and again to our sin and to the idols of the world.

Christians in America today by and large have been so infected with secular thought and reasoning we cant tell the difference between Godliness and Godlessness! Am I wrong?

We say we want to have a Gospel centered life, a life centered around our Lord yet we won't put the effort into becoming more Christ-like. We will put hours of our limited life into sports events or watching Tv for hours on end yet we WON'T pick up the bible, sit down and pray!

God's Holy Word says we are being and will be held accountable for what we do and don't do. DO WE GET THAT!!

As brothers and sisters in Christ we are to hold each other accountable on earth for our words and deeds are lack of. Being accountable involves being willing and able to explain your actions with honesty and openness. You and I will one day stand before God and will be held accountable for how we lived, what we said, our sins of commission and omission.

“the disorders of your hearts, and their sinful workings are as words before God.”

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God changes the focus of our lives from what we have, to whom we have. The reality is we cant match our desires to our circumstances. Our circumstances are then in reality based on the promise of an enduring relationship with our God: I will never leave you nor forsake you.

How hard is this to live out? Very Hard but through Christ and the Person of the Holy Spirit we can be conquer all of this life as we move into the next.

A new job, a new car, a new church, a desire to be married and have children are not wrongful desires in and of themselves. The problem is our internal restlessness and misguided desires that leads us to go from one green pasture to the next expecting happiness to be waiting for us. In reality the hills called career, wife/husband, bigger car/house, more money” have nothing at the top we are actually looking for yet we go from one the the other over and over.

Our Lord remains "The Way" for life's lost wanderers, Truth to the worlds confused minds and souls, the Shepherd for all lost sheep, light in this present darkness of this evil age. The key to our happiness is the same as it has always been; union with Christ! That means our intentional daily relationship with Christ is the most important thing in our lives!! We must faithfully not only read scripture and pray but we must cry out to our Lord, we must lament and express our sorrows and frustration with life to him. He walks beside us every day yet most Christians ignore him. Our Lord Christ Jesus promises that he will never leave us nor forsake us, but are we forsaking him?

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